Study Guide

my father moved through dooms of love Stanza 15

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Stanza 15

Lines 57-58

giving to steal and cruel kind,
a heart to fear,to doubt a mind,

  • Yeah, this chunk is a little obscure, but we're going to go with the idea that we're hearing more about the bad stuff of the world.
  • So, these lines could be saying that the generous spirit of giving has turned into stealing and kindness has turned into cruelty.
  • Hearts are filled with fear, and they fill the mind with doubts. 
  • Ugh, we're getting depressed.

Lines 59-60

to differ a disease of same,
conform the pinnacle of am

  • These last two lines seem to be about one of Cummings's favorites topics: the dangers of conformity. 
  • The "disease of same" seems to be getting at the idea that everybody trying to be alike is some kind of awful plague. Those who "differ" are all being infected. 
  • We think the image of the "pinnacle of am" is just the jam—what a great way to describe the power of the individual. 
  • Cummings is having fun with "to be" verbs again, and has his speaker use "am" to embody the self. 
  • So, if it's a "pinnacle of am," it's kind of putting the power of the individual on a pedestal. 
  • Unfortunately, these lines seem to be saying that this "disease of same" is out to "conform" this tower of individualism and make it like everything else. 
  • Bummer.

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